Missouri’s top employers in the private, non-profit, academic, and government sectors rely on human resource teams to ensure the strategic and interpersonal management of employees.
It comes as no surprise, then, that jobs in human resources continue to grow along with Missouri’s economy. The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center reports projected job increases for the following human resources professions between 2012 and 2022:
- Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists: 1,514 jobs in 2012 with 1,556 jobs expected by 2022, representing a 2.77 percent increase
- Training and Development Specialists: 5,044 jobs in 2012 with 5,671 jobs expected by 2022, representing a 12.43 percent increase
- Human Resources Specialists: 8,760 jobs in 2012, with 9,183 jobs expected by 2022, representing a 4.83 percent increase.
The actual number of job openings will be higher than the difference between the 2012 and 2022 totals when factoring in professionals that will need to be replaced as they enter retirement.
Degree and Certification Programs for a Career in HR Management
All senior-level and managerial human resources jobs require a college education in human resources, business administration or a related field.
From employee relations managers and compensation managers, to training and development managers and training specialists, a career in human resources often begins with a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
Bachelor’s Degrees in Human Resources
Bachelor’s degrees in human resources, which may be structured as Bachelor of Science (BS), Bachelor of Arts (BA), or Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) programs, are designed to prepare students for positions in HR leadership. Students learn how to establish and advance organizational policies and guidelines and to utilize the tools and techniques for developing transformational work environments.
Major components of a general bachelor’s program in HR or a bachelor’s program in human resource management include:
- Organizational Communications
- Intercultural Management
- Information Systems Management
- Human Resource Management
- Collective Bargaining
- Employment Law
Master’s Degrees in Human Resource Management
Master’s degrees for human resource managers, directors and specialists are designed to prepare students to take on more strategic roles in an organization and to ensure that their contributions support and advance the organization’s mission.
Master’s degrees in human resource management may be designed as Master of Science (MS), Master of Arts (MA), and Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs. Most programs allow students to either complete a generalist HR program or focus their graduate education on a specific HR track, such as:
- Staffing, training, and development
- Employment and labor law
- Labor and collective bargaining
- Benefits and compensation
Human resources graduate programs may go by a number of titles, such as: human resource management, organizational leadership, and management with a human resources specialization, just to name a few.
Admission into these programs often requires an undergraduate degree in business, finance, or human resources or the completion of specific undergraduate courses in these areas of study.
Major coursework requirements in a master’s degree in human resources often include:
- Conflict resolution
- Legal environment in human resources
- Human resource management and strategy
- Compensation and benefits
- Strategic planning and implementation
Professional Certification Options in Human Resources
Although professional certification in human resources is a voluntary pursuit, many professionals, particularly those in supervisory or management positions, choose to earn certification because it displays a commitment to the profession as an industry leader. The two most widely pursued designations in human resources include:
- Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)
- SHRM-CP (certified professional)
- SHRM-SCP (senior certified professional)
- HR Certification Institute (HRCI)
- Professional in Human Resources (PHR)
- Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)
- Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR)
- Human Resource Management Professional (HRMP)
- Human Resource Business Professional (HRBP)
- California Certification for PHR and SPHR certified professionals
Missouri’s Top Employers of Human Resources Professionals
A reliable way to track where human resources jobs are most available is by following the largest employers in the state, as well as the industries experiencing the most growth:
Missouri’s top employers in 2015, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, include:
- Wal-Mart, St. Louis
- Barnes-Jewish Hospital System, St. Louis
- Mercy Hospital System, Chesterfield
- The Washington University, St, Louis
- The Boeing Company, St. Louis, St. Charles, Hazelwood
- Schnuck Markets, St. Louis
- Cerner Corporation, Kansas City
- Lester E. Cox Medical, Springfield
The following is a sampling of some of the strongest industries in Missouri in terms of employment and projected growth:
- Data Processing: The data processing industry employed 10,306 people in 2014. This industry continues to expand, especially in the St. Louis and Kansas City regions.
- Company Management: Company management is a concentrated industry in Missouri, with most firms located in the St. Louis area. As of 2014, this industry employed close to 66,000 people.
- Hospitals: As of 2014, the hospital industry employed more than 120,000 people. BJC Healthcare, Mercy Health Systems, and SSM Health are some of the industry’s largest employers in the state.
- Telecommunications: As of 2014, there were more than 21,000 people employed in telecommunications in Missouri. Some of the major employers in this industry include AT&T, CenturyLink, Verizon, and Time Warner Cable.
- Transportation Equipment Manufacturing: Transportation equipment manufacturing remains an important industry in Missouri, employing more than 41,000 people as of 2014. Ford and General Motors both have manufacturing facilities in Missouri, and a number of auto supply plants, including Yanfeng USA and TG Missouri Corp. are based here.
What Missouri’s Top Employers are Looking for in an HR Management Professional
Jobs in human resources management are diverse, as is clear from recent job postings that detail both job requirements and descriptions (Samples taken in May of 2015 and shown for illustrative purposes):
Human Resources Recruiter: Unigroup, Fenton
This position involves working closely with hiring managers and HR generalists to coordinate recruitment, consult with management to identify the most qualified applicants, and search for candidates by utilizing passive recruiting techniques.
Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field and at least two years of recruiting experience.
HR Manager: UnderCover, Springfield
This position involves providing advice and counsel to all employees, following procedures regarding employee benefits, listening to employee problems, and providing feedback to functional managers.
Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of experience managing a human resources department within a manufacturing environment.
Human Resources Business Partner: DST Systems, Inc., Kansas City
This position requires maintaining an active presence within the business unit, serving as a liaison between human resources and senior management; and researching and implementing programs and practices related to human resources, organizational development, job enrichment, and employee engagement at the business unit or division level.
Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree and at least seven years of experience as a human resources generalist. Preferred candidates will possess an advanced degree in human resources, business management, or a related field and at least 10 years as a human resource generalist.
Manager Labor Relations: American Water, St. Louis
This position involves optimizing business performance by focusing on labor relations and ensuring compliance with state and federal laws, regulatory agencies, company policies, and collective bargaining agreements.
Qualified candidates will possess a bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related field; preferred candidates will possess a master’s degree.
Resources for Missouri’s HR Professionals
- Missouri State Council of the Society for Human Resources Management
- Human Resources Association of Central Missouri
- Springfield Area Human Resources Association
- Missouri Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration